When homeowners hear the words "weed control," they generally picture someone spreading weed killer over their lawn. This can be a strategy for ridding a lawn of weeds. However, it's more of a last-ditch effort or a last resort. Unless your lawn is already taken over by large weeds, there are better weed control methods you can turn to. Here's a look at your options. Most can be carried out by a professional or by the homeowner themselves.
Fertilizing the Lawn
People often assume that if their lawn is getting a bit weedy and they spread fertilizer, they'll just be encouraging the weeds to grow larger. But actually, the fertilizer tends to be taken up by the grass, rather than the weeds. As the grass takes in the nitrogen and other elements from the fertilizer, it grows stronger, and then it is better able to compete with the weeds. Weeds are generally a sign of infertile soil, and adding fertility to the soil will cause the population of weeds to decrease over time. Just make sure that you choose a fertilizer specifically formulated for lawns, and apply it according to the directions on the container. Fertilizer at the wrong dilution can cause more harm than good.
Watering the Lawn
A shortage of water can also allow weeds to out-compete the grass. If you are not already watering your lawn, starting to water your lawn will help keep the weeds under control. If you do already water your lawn, here are some ways you may want to boost your watering efforts:
- Water for a little longer. Dig down about 4 inches, and make sure the soil at this level is moist since this is where the grass roots are concentrated.
- Water just before dawn or just after dusk. This way, less water will evaporate.
- Apply more water to the parts of your lawn that receive the most sunlight.
Pulling Obvious Weeds
If you walk through your lawn and pull any large, obvious weeds every week or two, you'll help keep the weed population down. By pulling out these large weeds, you'll ensure no weeds remain in the ground long enough to spread their seeds, which means you should have fewer weeds pop up in the future. Your weed population should slowly decrease over time with this strategy.
Weed control is about more than just spreading weed killer. Try the strategies above first. Contact a company that provides weed control services to learn more about your options.